The Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth released its Inclusive Growth Map, a web-based service that enables users to learn about measures of inclusion and growth within 8000+ Opportunity Zones across the United States. The Inclusive Growth Map enables users to benchmark existing levels of inclusion and growth within particular Opportunity Zones, and to assess whether investments increased or decreased measures of inclusive growth.
The United States Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today released a proposed Form 8996 for Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOFs) for the 2019 tax year. The form is designed to collect information on the amount of investment by opportunity funds in business property by census tract. “This is an important step towards a thorough evaluation of the Opportunity Zone tax incentive,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.
A secondary attribute, appealing to clean energy developers, is that opportunity zone funds can be used for solar, microgrids, electric vehicle charging stations, and energy storage.
“The federal government isn’t picking winners and losers here,” said Pilkerton. “The governors picked those 8,700 opportunity zones, (and) the most important thing for local communities to recognize about opportunity zones is that investment plans are going to be contingent upon what they put forward."
After studying revitalization efforts in 11 cities across the U.S., Chris Benner, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Manuel Pastor, a professor at the University of Southern California, found that communities that spur equitable development for all of their citizens do it through deliberative efforts that put professionals -- those real estate developers, government officials and economic experts who actively profit from development -- on equal footing with residents, who bring expertise in what it means to live in the community.
“Through Opportunity Zones, the federal government is helping foster partnerships between people who may have never sat at the same table before,” he said. “Community leaders, public housing advocates, investors, builders, state officials and federal officials.”
The 2017 tax reform law was a once-in-a-generation tax cut for America’s families, small businesses, and workers. A huge part of that victory was that we were able to bring hope and prosperity to communities that have been left behind through new Opportunity Zones.
In Pennsylvania, early signs suggest that the program is not living up to the claims of transformative change and is unlikely to be a cure for the communities most in need of a boost. Instead, investors appear to mostly prefer areas already experiencing redevelopment, where the payday will be far greater.
Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced a new initiative to promote the creation and expansion of high-quality public charter schools in Opportunity Zones across the United States. Currently, more than 70% of Opportunity Zones do not have a public charter school option available to students.
The Opportunity Zones website includes an interactive map of the 8,764 Opportunity Zones nationwide; links to the Opportunity Zone-focused website of each State and Territory; comprehensive Federal tools and resources that support Opportunity Zone residents and complement Qualified Opportunity Fund investments; and the completed action items of each White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council member agency.